Articles from Germany
In light of these major challenges, can Germany keep its offshore wind programme on track? While there are no fixed dates as to when the administration will act, Mr. Wesselink is adamant that swift action is essential for Germany's offshore wind programme to succeed. "Only when the new legislation has been drafted in line with our plans, will it be possible [for Germany to meet its offshore wind target]".
There is no sign yet of the green economic miracle that the federal government promised would accompany Germany's new energy strategy. On the contrary, many manufacturers of wind turbines and solar panels complain that business is bad and are cutting jobs. Some solar companies have already gone out of business. The environmental sector faces a number of problems, especially -- and ironically -- those stemming from high energy prices.
Grid operators are not given sufficient financial incentives to connect wind farms to the grid. There is a lack of co-ordination among the authorities as to who is responsible for what. ..."I'm pessimistic for the time after 2015 if nothing changes. No one will go on investing if the grid link is as uncertain as it is now, neither E.on nor others."
Germany's plans for a radical expansion in offshore wind power generation are at risk of failure because of delays in hooking the wind farms up to the power grid, German power company E.on warned on Tuesday.
The costs of subsidizing solar electricity have exceeded the 100-billion-euro mark in Germany, but poor results are jeopardizing the country's transition to renewable energy. The government is struggling to come up with a new concept to promote the inefficient technology in the future.
The wind farm operator, German utility RWE, has to keep the sensitive equipment -- the drives, hubs and rotor blades -- in constant motion, and for now that requires diesel-powered generators. Because although the wind farm will soon be ready to generate electricity, it won't be able to start doing so because of a lack of infrastructure to transport the electricity to the mainland and feed it into the grid. The necessary connections and cabling won't be ready on time and the delay could last up to a year.
In eastern Germany, turbines in strong wind can produce more than all German coal and gas plants put together, while the need to switch off turbines in high winds causes a drop-off in electricity of 12GW - equal to two nuclear power plants. Outages are likely if there is too little demand or storage capacity to accommodate the jumps in supply.
"In terms of the good, the bad and the ugly wind projects from a moneymaking point of view, many in Germany and Italy have been bad. "There has been persistent overestimation of wind speeds in Germany and Italy. Developers and turbine manufacturers want to record high wind speeds to get projects off the ground. But now investors are wising up."
Green energy used to be Germany's great hope for its economic future. But now the German solar industry is in trouble amid huge losses, job cuts and the threat of bankruptcies. Chinese firms are gaining an ever greater share of the German market -- and are benefiting from German subsidies for renewable energy.
Controversial German wind turbine maker Bard has pulled out of a project to build the Netherlands' biggest offshore wind park, the Financieele Dagblad reports on Wednesday. Bard beat Dutch energy firms Nuon and Eneco to the contract to build the wind park off the coast.
"Germany, in a very rash decision, decided to experiment on ourselves," he said. "The politics are overruling the technical arguments." ...To be prudent, the plan calls for the creation of 23 gigawatts of gas- and coal-powered plants by 2020. Why? Because renewable plants don't produce nearly to capacity if the air is calm or the sky is cloudy, and there is currently limited capacity to store or transport electricity, energy experts say.
The Netherlands and Germany are embroiled in a dispute over the placing of wind turbines at sea off the coast of the Dutch island of Schiermonnikoog, the Telegraaf reports on Thursday.
"From the standpoint of environmental protection, it's necessary to decrease noise pollution in marine ecosystems," BfN acknowledges in the introduction of its recent report. The study looks to the guidelines set forth by the Federal Environment Agency (UBA), which suggest that noise outside of a 750 meter radius from the construction site should not exceed 160 decibels.
"It is important that we remain competitive in comparison with other countries. If not, a company of global stature like Bayer can think about moving its production to countries where energy costs are lower," he said.
Offshore wind parks are often hailed as the future of renewable energy in Germany. But they actually lag far behind their terrestrial counterparts. ...Meanwhile dissent is growing amongst citizen groups who dislike the presence of turbines on their doorsteps.
Long new lines would carry wind power across the nation to industrial and population centers along the Rhine River from existing wind power farms in the former East Germany and proposed offshore wind turbine clusters. Other direct-current (DC) connections may run under the North Sea.
Germany plans to shut down its last nuclear power plant in 2022. It's an ambitious timetable. But even more ambitious is its plan to replace that energy with renewable sources, such as wind and solar power. If the plan works, within 40 years Germany will get 80 percent of its power from "renewables." But there are major challenges.
Mr Vogt says he is sceptical about the timing of the renewables phase-in. "The public accepts projects only when it can see the sense in them," he says. "We need politics to help us with that. We need to tell people the switch to renewables will not come without costs."
Germany's nuclear phase-out is creating a new divide within the economy. On the one side are the energy-intensive businesses in the aluminum, cement and paper industries, which will see their electricity bills go up as a result of the nuclear phase-out. And on the other side is the growing renewable energy sector, which is starting to fill its order books as Chancellor Angela Merkel's nuclear turnaround becomes a reality.
Rochdale council could face significant legal costs if it moves to block the construction of a windfarm on the hills above Watergrove reservoir. That was the stark warning given to Rochdale Township planning sub-committee this week by a senior planning officer.